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More Candidates Are College Graduates

Posted March. 27, 2006 03:09,   


According to an analysis of May 31 local election preliminary hopefuls registered with the National Election Commission (NEC) as of March 26, 4,198 (52.1 percent) of the candidates are college graduates.

As in past local elections, 28 percent of the candidates in 1998 held an undergraduate degree, as did 29.9 percent in 2002.

The number of preliminary candidates who finished graduate schools was 1,220 (15.1 percent), much larger than the five percent in 1998 and 8.3 percent in 2002.

These findings were applicable to provincial councilors, including provincial council members and local council members.

The rate of college graduates among the local council member candidates for the May 31 local election reached 44.2 percent, more than double the average of 21.3 percent in 1998 and 2002. Among the provincial council member candidates, 64.6 percent were college graduates, a sharp increase from 49 percent in the past election.

As for provincial governors, the college graduate rate decreased from 92.5 percent in 1998 and 87 percent in 2002 to 82.4 percent in the May 31 election.

An NEC official said, “As the Seoul Metropolitan City decided on a 2006 councilors’ salary of 68,040,000 won on March 24, local or provincial council members can be seen as high-paid workers. As a result, those who are of a high level of academic ability may become interested in the positions.”

The preliminary candidate system, which has been in effect since 2004, is intended to provide basic electioneering opportunities for challengers as well as incumbents. It is first time that the system has been applied to a local election.

Preliminary candidate registration for this coming local election will be due on May 16, and final candidates should be registered by March 17. The total number of candidates will likely exceed 10,000.

Interim findings showed that the number of preliminary candidates who had registered for the local elections for mayor, governor and councilor, totaled 8,063, an average competition rate of 2.4:1.

The head of local authorities election covering 230 positions, including 16 provincial governors, has recorded 4.3:1 competition rate with 993 candidates. Some 5,656 candidates have registered for the local council member of 2,513 posts and 1,414 candidates for the provincial council member of 655 posts, 2.3:1 and 2.2:1 competition rate, respectively.

By political parties, the number of Grand National Party member candidates was 2,557 (31.7 percent), followed by 1,896 (23.5 percent) from the Uri Party.

By gender, the number of male candidates reached 7,720 (95.7 percent) and females 273 (4.3 percent). The rate of females increased from 2.6 percent in 2002 local election.

By ages, 37.9 percent of all candidates were in their 40’s, followed by 36.4 percent in their 50’s, and 15.4 percent in their 60’s or older.

By jobs, the number of politicians, including incumbent local councilors, reached 1,984, followed by 1,147 from the farming-livestock-fishery industry, 882 from the commerce industry, 471 from the construction industry, and 377 office workers.